Group Photo of CIT, Image Credit: Helena Vičič

An inspiring and long-awaited Certified Interpretive Trainer (CIT) course took place in the breathtaking location of Arnoga, Italy.

This thought-provoking experience welcomed over 20 participants from 13 European countries, uniting them in the community of interpretive trainers. Organised by Vanessa Vaio, IE’s Country Coordinator Italy, the course unfolded between November 21-25 and was led by trainers Valya Stergioti from Greece and Thorsten Ludwig from Germany.

Capturing the essence of the transformative three-day CIT course, followed by a two-day upgrade for Certified Interpretive Guides (CIG) course, the event was further enriched with a Certified Interpretive Writer Trainer (CIWT) upgrade for a select group of trainers.

Nestled in the embrace of the towering peaks of the Alps, the mountains themselves seemed to elevate the participants’ spirits, despite the inherent humility each participant brought. The bond formed amongst the future trainers was akin to the resilient roots of the pine trees adorning the paths of Viola Valley – a testament to the universal language of the shared passion by all future interpretive trainers.

This remarkable experience was filled with opportunities to learn how to become better interpretive trainers. It included heart-fluttering exercises, insightful presentations, and the warm camaraderie of willing, friendly, and supportive fellow participants from all over Europe.

Barbara Gołębiowska, IE’s Country Coordinator Poland, captured this shared experience, rarely found elsewhere:

The atmosphere that accompanies Interpret Europe interpretation courses is something extraordinary. Nowhere, never and at any training or workshop have I experienced such joy from learning together and closeness based on a community of passions and values, while appreciating the diversity of our languages, cultures and experiences. This was a place where you can feel the value of the European community at its deepest level.”

The intensity of the week was palpable, from the profound insights shared during presentations to the emotional resonance of the feedback sessions that illuminated the collective journey. Against the breathtaking backdrop of the Italian Alps, participants not only honed their interpretive skills but also kindled a shared vision for a more connected and sustainable world.

The training was a sensory feast, nourishing both mind and soul. Beyond Interpret Europe’s overarching goal of shaping the future of our common heritage, the programme inspired a more profound commitment to crafting a sustainable present and future. It ignited a collective desire to enhance individual contributions, stirring the very spirit of humanity.

Amidst the pristine white landscape, the course unfolded in a symphony of vibrant colours, mirroring the richness of the content. Although English wasn’t the native language for any participant, it proved to be no barrier. Instead, it became a catalyst for forging strong connections, much like the sturdy pines revealing themselves along the valley trails.

Iva Silla, author of Secret Zagreb and already an experienced Interpret Europe Certified Interpretive Trainer, took part in the CIWT (Certified Interpretive Writers Trainer) upgrade:

I enjoyed every step of the process. As always in the IE courses, vivid discussions and meaningful reflections were encouraged by our trainer. I have worked as a CIG trainer for years, and joining a new trainers’ upgrade was a perfect chance for me to work closely with other trainers, get to know their perspectives, and understand our responsibility and the power of facilitation even better. Interpret Europe’s training is skilfully crafted, and highly standardised, but every trainer has their own personal touch, and that could be one of the most precious add-ons. Spending time with my fellow-trainees was eye-opening in many ways.”

Aspiring to make a transformative impact, the upcoming cohort of Interpret Europe trainers seeks to redefine the art of heritage interpretation. Their mission is to cultivate contemplation and dialogue, fostering connections between audiences and heritage through a shared, value-driven approach. This endeavour aims to infuse fresh significance into Europe’s natural, cultural, and intangible heritage, empowering all who inspire meaningful connections. It is through these direct and meaningful experiences that we collectively shape our common future.

Vasilka Dimitrovska is Interpret Europe’s Country Coordinator North Macedonia. She is the director of HAEMUS – Center for Scientific Research and promotion of Culture ( and the owner of Storytelling Skopje ( She can be contacted at:

Daniela Ruçi works as a grants coordinator for Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust (PONT). She has many years’ experience as an environmental expert and previously worked as a manager for the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) programme. Daniela is IE’s Design Officer, and she can be contacted at:


To cite this article: Dimitrovska, Vasilka & Ruçi, Daniela (2023) ‘The training of trainers‘  in Interpret Europe Newsletter 4-2023, pg.12-13.
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